Tales of Winberg?

With my next series being fairy tale retellings, and a spin-off series from my Dalthia series, I was originally thinking of calling the series Tales from Dalthia, or something similar. However, as I’ve continued to plan out the series, I’ve realized that these books will not take place in Dalthia. They will take place in Winberg, which is the Sovereign Duchy where Saving Marilee takes place.

The reasoning for this?

Not only was I planning to tell both Cecily and Emeline’s stories, who are both from Saving Marilee, but I realized that Marilee, with her fanciful mind and her love of whimsy, had created the perfect jumping off point from which to launch my fairy tale retellings. They will all be interwoven just like the Dalthia books were, building on one another.

The downside? I was originally planning on FINALLY telling Gretchen’s story (Ella’s maid), but alas, with this new plan, I have to put Gretchen on the back burner once again.

The good news? I already have an inkling of an idea for a fourth book. I originally only planned on three, but there’s a fourth that will likely get written, even if it’s not released on the same schedule with the first three.

And what are the first three?

Hooked: A Peter Pan retelling.

Hunted: A Little Red Riding Hood retelling.

Hidden: A Robin Hood retelling.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The first draft of Hooked is complete. I’m getting close to finishing the rough draft of Hunted. And I have an outline sketched out for Hidden.

Since I’m planning to release these in quick succession (each one month apart), I wanted them all finished and ready to go before I release the first. To prep for that, I’m having my cover artist attack all three covers at the beginning of April. It’s been great to have that soft deadline in place. It’s forced me to be sure that I have a handle on all the characters and major plot lines.

Also, I’m super excited to see what she can do with these covers. (!!)

ALSO! Just Ella will be FREE on Thursday and Friday. So tell a friend. Or buy it for a friend. Or for yourself!


Walking the Tight Trope

I’ve been thinking about character tropes and point of view. What’s the link between the two? Well, that’s the realization I had.

Many of the character tropes—especially in romantic books—are dependent on how other people view that character. And because it’s an outside view, they are flattened to one or two dimensions. The smart girl. The bad boy. The funny friend. The loser. It’s the role that society has assigned them because it’s the easiest box that they fit in.

It’s true that in life, we often view people as a stereotype the first time we meet them. When we are trying to make sense of new people in new situations, it’s easiest if we can quickly categorize people in the file cabinet of our brain. But those preconceived notions and attributes are often heightened in fiction.

So I’ve been studying these romance character tropes, their traits and how they fit in with other types of characters, and that led me to evaluate my own work to see if I have characters that fit into these tropes. There are a few that, yes, I can see how they might fit. Marilee is the pretty girl. She’s frivolous and privileged. She likes pretty things and is used to getting what she wants. But that’s only in Just Ella. When she has her own story, she no longer fits that role, partially because she’s lived a life that crushed that out of her, but mostly because you’re in her head and you can understand who she really is.

We understand a character better when we’re inside their head and can see all their motives, misconceptions and hang-ups. They move beyond a trope and become a full person. But how do we do that with the other characters, especially the love interest?

One way is by using dual point of view.

Adult romance novels are often told from dual point of view. You get to see inside both characters’ heads and understand exactly why they are acting this way and saying that thing. In general, I think this is done so that the reader can get to know both romantic leads and fall for them more easily because we have more to work with than just what we can observe. We get to know both of them as full people.

So then why don’t I do that with my books? The easy answer is that I’ve never wanted to. But I think the underlying reasoning and the one I feel strongly about, is that we experience life from only our point of view.

In real life, we aren’t in our love interest’s head. We can’t fall in love with them because of their inner thoughts and private motivations. We can only fall for them because of what we see, hear and feel from them.

I want my readers to be able to really sympathize with my heroines. I want them to be able to see the heroes the way that my main character sees them. And I want my readers to be able to understand why they fell in love. What did the hero say and do that made their personalities, and their love for the heroine, clear enough that the heroine is willing to fall for them?

Because in life, that’s all we have. We don’t know someone is interested in us until they either SHOW us, or TELL us. And we usually won’t believe it until they have done both consistently for a significant amount of time. If a man says he loves a woman, but then ignores her, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in his head, she’s not going to believe him. And she shouldn’t. Love has to be more than words.

Single point of view also forces our main character to do the hard work of moving from first impressions (character tropes) to seeing them as more than just a general caricature and developing a more complex understanding for that person.

That doesn’t mean my approach is right or wrong. It simply goes about storytelling in a different way. Dual point of view can highlight misunderstandings and why they happen, as well as how they can be conflated and then overcome. It can also help us to see both characters from their own point of view and from the outside. Single point of view forces you to only use the information that one person would have and hopefully cause the reader to buy into that character’s perceptions and decisions. It forces the author to show the love interest falling in love without being in their head.

There are pros and cons to both, but I prefer single point of view because it keeps the mystery alive. If I don’t know what the love interest is thinking, then the inherent suspense of how-will-they-fall-in-love is still there.

But maybe that’s just narrow minded of me. Would y’all prefer that I give in and do a dual point of view book? Or are you a-ok with the way I do things?

Clean Romance Highlights

The Rivals of Rosennor Hall by Rebecca Connolly is free right now.

One estate. Two heirs.
No rules, only battle lines.


Update From My Bunker

Okay, so there is no bunker. It’s my house. It just sometimes feels like a bunker during these strange times. I’m sure all of you can relate.

I hope everyone out there is doing well dealing with these odd circumstances we find ourselves in. I’ve never been on such friendly terms with sand sanitizing wipes. I happen to have a container of them in my console and I’m pretty sure my steering wheel is like, “What the crap, Annette? Suddenly you think I’m so disgusting that I must be wiped down every time you go somewhere?”

Continue reading

Box Set Glitch and FIX

**The glitch in the box set is fixed! If you got a faulty version, you should be able to update the book by syncing.**

You cannot imagine how sorry I am about the glitch in the box set version of Just Ella. It was already on sale and selling quite a few when someone brought it to my attention that the last part of chapter one was missing. It just stopped in the middle of a sentence. Those who have read the book will probably realize how significant that is. The end of chapter one is more than a little bit important. Continue reading

Clean Romance Box Sets

The fabulous Heather B. Moore has pulled together a project that I am so excited about. It’s called Triple Treat Romances. She has networked with and recruited clean romance writers of all genres and compiled them into multiple box sets. Each box set contains three full length novels. And they are all wonderfully inexpensive!

Check out the Triple Treat Romance website to get a look at all of the box sets. You can see which sets are already available on amazon and see the release dates of those that aren’t.

For example, in December, Just Ella will be released as a part of this box set. 🙂

TTT Destiny Waiting 3-D

Last stops on the tour!

A huge Thank You to all the bloggers and reviewers who took the time to be a part of the Missing Lily Blog Tour. And, as always, a huge shout out to Kathy from iamareader.com. She’s a fabulous host and I’ve loved having the opportunity to work with her.

The Tour has ended, but there are still 4 more days to enter the giveaway. And only two more days to purchase the nook or ibooks version of Missing Lily. Then it will be exclusive through Amazon.

Check out the last stops! Continue reading

Interview, Lorraina’s song, and other things…

I did an interview with Curling Up With A Good Book.

Remember that Just Ella is on sale for the next 10 days, if you or someone you know wants to grab it.

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And I have another song for y’all! This is Lorraina’s song. Specifically Chapter 25.This is Say Something by A Great Big World. Love this song. Enjoy.

 

Blog Tour stops for the past couple days: Continue reading